Dean Shiels accepts blame for Dungannon error but wants Swifts to stay ‘brave’

Dungannon Swifts boss Dean Shiels accepted ‘100 per cent’ of the blame for gifting Glenavon a goal inside the opening minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

By Patrick Van Dort
Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 1:00 pm
Dungannon Swifts manager Dean Shiels. Pic by Pacemaker
Dungannon Swifts manager Dean Shiels. Pic by Pacemaker

However, he also was keen to highlight the positives from his players’ response to that Danny Purkis finish as bottom-of-the-table Swifts signed off the season with a display Shiels considered ‘brave’.

Purkis took full advantage with 29 seconds on the clock in Lurgan as a misplaced pass left the unmarked striker with a simple finish.

Glenavon in search of a point as the minimum goal to keep alive hopes of securing a spot in the European play-offs, threatened to increase the advantage on multiple occasions across a frantic start.

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The hosts had a number of openings off struggles by the Swifts to retain possession but Shiels proved adamant his gameplan stands as the only way for the club to move forward.

“People will see the goal and say we got caught, it was slack from us,” said Shiels, who was appointed as Swifts manager in early March. “The goal we conceded is 100 per cent my fault.

“I want to play that way and if we concede that way then it’s my fault and I will take the blame.

“The flip side is we played through Glenavon numerous times and created chances.

“The early goal gave them a foothold into the game and we struggled for the first 15 minutes.

“I thought we reacted well after that and for half-an-hour after those first 15 minutes of the first half we were really good.

“We performed well and could have scored three or four goals before half-time.

“We persist with playing out from the back because we created four chances playing it out from the back.

“You’ve got to be brave and stick to your principles.

“We will perform better, we will play better, we will score more goals playing that way I believe rather than hoofing it into the corner and fighting for second balls.

“I’ve seen teams in this country if they play it out from the back then they make a mistake and that’s it, then go and launch it.

“If I turn around and say to the players ‘go long now’ then what kind of message does that send out to the players, it’s mixed messages.

“If I’ve no conviction in what I’m doing then players will see through that...players are smart.”

Shiels had a reward when Ben Gallagher slotted home an equaliser for a share of the spoils which provided Glenavon the short-term boost required and Dungannon an encouraging platform on which to build.

“I won’t change, we will be successful playing that way and it’s up to me to maybe find better players that understand it and add the quality in the areas to help those players here,” said Shiels. “Obviously the positive is coming away with a point, in the past we would have lost that game.

“You are going to get inconsistency with performances when playing as many teenagers and kids as we are but we want to improve those kids so they are ready and better prepared for next season.

“It’s my job to improve those here but obviously give them some help.

“Experience is key, we know we’ve got quality in youth but when you come to Glenavon and they’re firing balls in constantly down your throats and long throws you need leadership and men that can stand up to that.

“Now we did have kids today who did do that so sometimes experience is not always the answer.

“But we’re not stupid...we know we need to add experienced players.”


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